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Junk or Jewels

The BreakPoint article attempts to answer the question: Aren’t you just giving God credit for what you don’t understand?

The BreakPoint answer essentially relies on (and mentioned) the perspective offered many years ago by the English clergyman William Paley. He talked in terms of finding a watch on a beach. Anyone finding such a complex gadget would assume that an intelligent being designed it.

That in a nutshell is the BreakPoint answer to the question. The BreakPoint article concludes with a story of two puppets that wake up. The two puppets try to figure out how they came to be. One assumes they must have been made while the other assumes they were created by a natural process. Obviously the moral of the story is that it is not rational to believe that these puppets could have appeared without being made.

The problem with this story is that the theory of evolution makes no such claim. Mankind did not appear on the earth on one day in the year 4004 BC (the Biblical story in Genesis). Human beings (i.e., homo sapiens) appeared within a very complex environment. That environment included a number of very similar hominids, as well as a cornucopia of plant and animal life. Each stage of life evolution was implied by the natural conditions of the time. The oldest life forms found in fossils are not plants or animals but are very simple organisms.

The analogy of the watch is inappropriate. Mankind does not appear when the highest form of life on the planet is a plant, perhaps even a fish. Finding a watch, a mechanical creation by man, is not the same as a life organism. A person (one of the most complex organisms on this planet) is not ‘found on a beach’ or ‘delivered by a stork’ but is instead the result of the natural process between a man and a woman, when the sperm fertilizes the egg, beginning the gestation process that provides a fragile, immature human being at its successful conclusion.

The theory of evolution is an attempt by scientists to understand the natural biological processes at work on this planet, such that life like humans could arise in such conditions. The answer to the BreakPoint question, as given in the BreakPoint answer, is ‘yes.’ Chuck Colson is implying that since we do not understand the process of evolution of life on this planet that it must be the work of God.

Many years ago, most peoples of the world were unaware of meteorology and how the measurement of air pressure and humidity could help describe the reasons for changes in weather. Violent storms could be considered acts of God because they did understand these natural processes. Rather than believing these storms to be random and arbitrary due to that lack of understanding, many chose to place the cause or origin of the storms to be from God. Now that a basic understanding of weather is possible for many, far fewer people assign the cause of such storms to God.

The discounting of the incomplete theory of evolution reveals a similar naive attitude, that anything that is not currently understood must be the work of supernatural forces (where supernatural means something not seen and not comprehensible by man).

The original link in case the article ever returns to Breakpoint:

(http://www.pfm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Parents &TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=12850)


created - Mar 2005
last change - 01/02/2006
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